April 2014 184th General Conference notes: Saturday afternoon session

Pres. Eyring conducts.

(My wife says she really likes the flowers in the background).

Choir sings: “Glory to God on High.”

Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy gives the opening prayer.

Choir sings: “I Lived in Heaven.”

Elder Uchtdorf presents general officers and authorities for sustaining vote. (He has the coolest accent of any of the GAs).

Audit report: Kevin Jergensen. Passed the audit (phew!).

Statistical report: Brook P. Hales. Couldn’t catch all the numbers. Over 15 million members. 282,945 converts. 83,000 missionaries. Once new temple in Honduras. 141 temples in operation.

Elder Nelson:

Turbulence on plane. Woman is upset. Husband tells Elder Nelson: “the only way I could comfort my wife was to tell her that Elder Nelson was on the plane.”

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Can be bolstered as we learn about him and live our religion.

Are we tied to God so our faith shows or are we actually tied to something else? Avid fans of Sunday sports. Would their religion only tie them back to some kind of a bouncing ball? Where is our faith: in a team, in a brand, in a celebrity? There is only one in whom your faith is always safe: in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So many people look only to their bank balance for peace.

In his medical practice, Elder Nelson was asked not to mix science and faith. Truth is truth. It is not divisible. All truth emanates from God. Elder Nelson was being asked to hide my faith. He let his faith show.

Some challenge the relevance of religion in modern life. Mock or decry free exercise of religion. Some even blame religion for the world’s ills.

Are we ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth? Scripture study.

Political campaigns look to polls. But the polls cannot be used to justify disobedience to God’s commandments. Even if everyone is doing it, wrong is never right. Woe unto them who call evil good and good evil.

Immorality is still immorality in the eyes of God.

Uses the example of his daughter who died young, but with faith.

Monson: “Let us have the courage to defy the consensus. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.”

Increase your faith. Proclaim your faith. Let your faith show.

Elder Scott

He grew up in an inactive home. His grandmother came to tell him the importance of being baptized and attending meetings regularly. Soon he was baptized. He is grateful for his grandmother’s testimony.

Didn’t think about a mission much until he met a woman he loved who said she would only marry a returned missionary. He was impressed. Couldn’t sleep. Decided to go on a mission. She never asked him to serve a mission for her — she just gave him the opportunity. He would never have found such happiness without her faith in serving the Lord first.

No coercion. They simply loved him and loved Father in Heaven.

Focus your life on the most basic principles. You will produce more fruit for the Lord and more happiness for yourself. Concentrate on the plan of salvation.

Conversion of individuals is only part of the work. Always work to strengthen families. Families sealed in the temple. His father was later baptized, after Elder Scott was. Eventually his father served as a sealer in the temple.

Keep your sharing of the Gospel simple. Personal testimony of the Savior. Commitment to priesthood ordinances. Facilitates the Spirit. Testify of the Savior and the power of the atonement. Righteously serve others.

Choir and congregation sings: “We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet.”

Elder Hales

Lesson of obedience. Lucifer rebelled against Heavenly Father’s plan. Those who followed Lucifer ended their eternal progression. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU FOLLOW.

Christ learned obedience through suffering. Because of his obedience, he atoned for our sins, prepared the way for us to return. When we obey, we accept his sacrifice. We believe all mankind may be saved through obedience. Jesus taught us to obey in simple language: “if you love me, keep my commandments” and “come, follow me.”

At times members may participate in selective obedience: picking and choosing which of his commandments and teachings and teachings of prophets they will follow. They may be selective because they do not understand all the reasons. Just as children may not understand all of the commands of their parents.

As our understanding of obedience deepens, we recognize the essential role of agency. Jesus prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane. But he went to the cross. Mature obedience is the Savior’s obedience. When we willingly obey as our Savior did, we cherish the words of our Heavenly Father. We look forward to hearing, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Sustain priesthood leaders and follow their teachings and counsel. Remember the consequences of our choices. Did Lucifer and his followers understand the consequences? Why did they make such a terrible choice? Why do any of us choose to be disobedient? The scriptures provide an answer: they loved Satan more than God.

Our love of the Savior is the key to Savior-like obedience.

Elder Hales speaks out against abortion very clearly.

Scriptures are full of examples of prophets who have learned the lessons of obedience. Joseph Smith and the lost 116 pages. Martin Harris forgot his oath, and the manuscript was lost. Joseph was rebuked by the Lord. Joseph suffered and repented. Yielded to the pressures of others.

Elder Claudio D. Zivic of the Seventy

(info on Elder Zivic, from Argentina):


Hiking. Followed a difficult path. The wrong path. Followed the wrong person. His companions had followed the signs and they arrived without any problems. He took the wrong way. He learned an important lesson: following the wrong person, he went the wrong way.

Also mentioned the lost 116 pages.

Do not lose sight of the way. If you abandon the Lord’s way, you will feel the bitterness of putting aside the counsels of God. I exhort you to repent and come back to the right way.

Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy

Info on Elder Zwick: https://www.lds.org/church/leader/w-craig-zwick

Driving an 18-wheeler. Wife with a baby. The cab filled with smoke. Engine brakes and geared down. My wife jumped out with our baby before we had come to a full stop. He went to find his wife and baby. She was bloody but she and their son were OK. He said: “what in the world were you thinking?” She said: “I was just trying to save our son.” She thought the engine would explode, he knew it was an electrical failure.

What kind of woman would do something so courageous and utterly irrational?

They were angry with each other. But Paul said: “no corrupt communication.”

People often lose patience with each other, say things they regret. Destructive words can take a situation from hazardous to fatal. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility, even when we disagree.

“A soft answer.” We can speak directly and stick to principles, but we can be soft in spirit.

Story of Sariah and Lehi in the BoM.

Practice asking this question: what is the other person thinking? Use compassionate language, have empathy and context of others. We can transform hazardous situations into holy places.

Elder Cook

Hasten family history and temple work.

Malachi and promise of Elijah. Moroni reemphasized this message. Elijah was the last prophet to hold the M. Priesthood. He returned at the Kirtland temple in 1836.

What about the deceased who have not been baptized? Letter from Vilate Kimball in the 1840s. Joseph Smith restored baptism for the dead. Our obligation is to our own ancestors.

(Lots of Church history related to temple work. Very interesting.)

130 of 142 temples have been dedicated during time of Pres. Monson in the highest counsels of the Church. 85 percent of the church live within 200 miles of a temple.

Technology: our family history centers are now in our own homes. Church needs to lead the way in the use of technology to experience the spirit of Elijah. Young people will do a lot of this work. Youth should do baptisms, work with families to provide family names.

Families should hold a family tree gathering. Bring family history stories, including possessions of ancestors. Young people are excited to learn about the lives of others. Good use of Sabbath day.

Choir: “High on the Mountaintop.”

Closing prayer: Linda K. Burton

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

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